Once again, David began the next season of his life by consulting the Lord. What do I do, where do I go? God sent him to Hebron, in Judah, and they anointed him their king (of Judah) (second anointing).
Saul had one remaining son, Ish-bosheth ("man of shame")
Abner, commander of Saul's Army had Ish-bosheth anointed kin of all of Israel. Ish-bosheth was king for 2 years, except over Judah, who followed David.
Under Abner's lead, Israel and David met and had a champion contest where multiple men from each team fought for the victory of the whole side in battle. David's men completely dominated and slaughtered Ish-bosheth's men. Then a battle and pursuit commenced that I didn't total understand. Hoping Weirsbe has some insight and why the people did and said what they did.
Oh, y Ryrie bible says that all 24 of the champion warriors killed each other. All sides lost completely. I don't do so well with chase scenes and battles. 🙂
II Samuel 2- Wiersbe
Abner was also Saul's cousin. So he probably was even more convinced of his right to inherit from Saul's post-reign. Less inclined to bow to David, who he had chased for years.
So Abner decided to fight for Ish-bosheth over David.
Joab was David's commander and David's nephew.
David was King of Judah (Hebron) for 7 and a half years.
Somehow, Ish-bosheth only reigned two years, which coincided with the end of David's 7 and a half year reign. Ryrie and Weirsbe explanation is that it took five years for Abner to round up every tribe but Judah to sign on to the new king.
Once Abner had the other tribes signed on to Ish-bosheth's reign, he declared war on David and called for the champions battle to settle the civil war. Once all 24 killed each other, Joab and Abner organized their battle formations and Joab/David won.
One of David's other nephews pursued Abner. Abner tried to warn him off and then killed him. The other two nephews of David gave chase; but Abner escaped and called a truce.